Tencent Holdings Hires D.C. Lobbyists as Executive Order Deadline Looms

Tencent Holdings hired a number of Washington D.C. lobbyists last month according to a recently released disclosure filing. Those lobbyists include former California Rep. Ed Royce, who served as chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and five other lobbyists from the firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. Tencent also hired Toby Myerson and his former firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison.

Tencent has ramped up lobbying efforts in D.C. as it faces the ramifications of a vague executive order issued by U.S. President Donald Trump on Aug. 7 that prohibits transactions with Tencent Holdings in the United States via its WeChat app. In a letter sent to Republican lawmakers on Aug. 7, Trump said that he would define what transactions would be affected when the executive orders take effect on Sept. 20. 

While the Administration has said that the executive order narrowly focuses on WeChat transactions, there is still concern that its language is so murky that it could ultimately include other Tencent properties in the United States. Tencent owns Riot Games, which in turn owns League of Legends and VALORANT, and operates 13 professional-level esports leagues around the world including the League of Legends Pro League in China (alongside Tencent through its joint venture TJ sports), League Championship Series in North America, League of Legends European Championship in Europe. 

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